Books set in Alabama

Written by:
September 27, 2022
Goodreads

Books set in Alabama

Every state has its hallmark writers. Mississippi has William Faulkner and his incomparable (fictional) Yoknapatawpha County and Missouri can lay claim to Mark Twain. The state of Maine is gifted with Pulitzer winner Richard Russo and horror icon Stephen King. Rural Pennsylvania is the playground of the much-heralded (and occasionally maligned) John Updike, and when many bibliophiles think of New Jersey, they also think of Richard Ford's series of novels featuring recurring Everyman character Frank Bascombe. Illinois can lay claim to William Maxwell, Sandra Cisneros, and Adam Langer, among numerous others. And what reader can think of Washington State without contending with the sparkle-vampire yarns of Stephanie Meyer?

What makes authors like these inextricably associated with a particular state is not simply the matter of their having been born there or choosing to live there. The connection, from a writerly standpoint, is deeper than that—their work, nearly all of it, is set in "their" state.

Of course, there are certainly exceptions. Whether a writer sets a tale in the town where they went to college or spent part of their childhood—like Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" and its New England arts school setting and the almost-factual small town of Jo Ann Beard's "In Zanesville," respectively—or crafts a story that follows a social or political theme to a location they know little about but lay narrative claim to anyway, the world is rife with books known, loved, and respected that also capture the essence of place—books where setting itself is one of the strongest characters.

Stacker compiled a list of books set in Alabama from Goodreads. Whether you're looking for a good read set in the state you call home, or you're looking to expand your curiosity with a writer you're already familiar with, we've got you covered.

You may also like: Counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Alabama

1 / 50
Goodreads

To Kill a Mockingbird

- Rating: 4.27 (5.4 million ratings)
- Author: Harper Lee
- Published: January 1, 1960
- Genres: Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction, School
- Read more on Goodreads
2 / 50
Goodreads

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

- Rating: 4.28 (289,747 ratings)
- Author: Fannie Flagg
- Published: January 1, 1987
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, LGBT, Classics
- Read more on Goodreads
3 / 50
Goodreads

A Masque of Infamy

- Rating: 4.03 (73 ratings)
- Author: Kelly Dessaint
- Published: March 6, 2013
- Genres: Relationships, Mental Health
- Read more on Goodreads
4 / 50
Goodreads

Looking for Alaska

- Rating: 3.98 (1.4 million ratings)
- Author: John Green
- Published: March 3, 2005
- Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
- Read more on Goodreads
5 / 50
Goodreads

Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump, #1)

- Rating: 4.04 (64,706 ratings)
- Author: Winston Groom
- Published: December 31, 1986
- Genres: Fiction, Humor, Historical Fiction, Classics
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Counties most concerned about climate change in Alabama

6 / 50
Goodreads

Murder on the First Day of Christmas

- Rating: 3.86 (165 ratings)
- Author: Billie Thomas
- Published: December 17, 2012
- Genres: Christmas, Mystery, Holiday, Cozy Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads
7 / 50
Goodreads

The Complete Stories of Truman Capote

- Rating: 4.20 (5,736 ratings)
- Author: Truman Capote
- Published: January 1, 1993
- Genres: Short Stories, Fiction, Classics, Literature
- Read more on Goodreads
8 / 50
Goodreads

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

- Rating: 4.62 (201,418 ratings)
- Author: Bryan Stevenson
- Published: October 21, 2014
- Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, Social Justice, Race
- Read more on Goodreads
9 / 50
Goodreads

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

- Rating: 4.01 (3,611 ratings)
- Author: James Agee
- Published: August 1, 1941
- Genres: Nonfiction, History, Photography, Classics
- Read more on Goodreads
10 / 50
Goodreads

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

- Rating: 4.16 (3,442 ratings)
- Author: Lynda Blackmon Lowery
- Published: January 8, 2015
- Genres: Nonfiction, History, Memoir, Middle Grade
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Highest-earning cities in Alabama

11 / 50
Goodreads

Inside Out & Back Again

- Rating: 4.12 (55,446 ratings)
- Author: Thanhha Lai
- Published: February 22, 2011
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Poetry, Middle Grade, Young Adult
- Read more on Goodreads
12 / 50
Goodreads

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! (Elmwood Springs, #1)

- Rating: 3.90 (25,304 ratings)
- Author: Fannie Flagg
- Published: September 22, 1998
- Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Southern, Humor
- Read more on Goodreads
13 / 50
Goodreads

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven (Elmwood Springs, #3)

- Rating: 3.93 (18,987 ratings)
- Author: Fannie Flagg
- Published: January 1, 2000
- Genres: Fiction, Humor, Southern, Chick Lit
- Read more on Goodreads
14 / 50
Goodreads

Francie

- Rating: 3.85 (185 ratings)
- Author: Karen English
- Published: January 1, 1999
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
15 / 50
Goodreads

Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey

- Rating: 4.17 (435 ratings)
- Author: Kathryn Tucker Windham
- Published: May 15, 2014
- Genres: Paranormal, Nonfiction, Short Stories, Southern
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Alabama is the #10 state that will be the most affected if Roe v. Wade is overturned

16 / 50
Goodreads

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution

- Rating: 4.19 (919 ratings)
- Author: Diane McWhorter
- Published: March 15, 2001
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, American History, Race
- Read more on Goodreads
17 / 50
Goodreads

The Grass Harp, Including A Tree of Night and Other Stories

- Rating: 4.01 (5,729 ratings)
- Author: Truman Capote
- Published: January 2, 1956
- Genres: Fiction, Short Stories, Classics, American
- Read more on Goodreads
18 / 50
Goodreads

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

- Rating: 3.99 (64,910 ratings)
- Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
- Published: January 1, 1995
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
19 / 50
Goodreads

My Year in the Middle

- Rating: 4.06 (641 ratings)
- Author: Lila Quintero Weaver
- Published: July 10, 2018
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
20 / 50
Goodreads

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

- Rating: 3.78 (21,151 ratings)
- Author: Casey Cep
- Published: May 7, 2019
- Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime, History, Biography
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Highest-rated things to do in Alabama, according to Tripadvisor

21 / 50
Goodreads

And Their Children After Them: The Legacy of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: James Agee, Walker Evans, and the Rise and Fall of Cotton in the South

- Rating: 4.02 (239 ratings)
- Author: Dale Maharidge
- Published: May 13, 1989
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Biography, Photography
- Read more on Goodreads
22 / 50
Goodreads

The Miracle Worker: A Play

- Rating: 4.20 (34,209 ratings)
- Author: William Gibson
- Published: January 1, 1956
- Genres: Plays, Classics, Biography, Nonfiction
- Read more on Goodreads
23 / 50
Goodreads

Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story

- Rating: 4.54 (985 ratings)
- Author: Martin Luther King Jr.
- Published: November 30, 1957
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Politics, Biography
- Read more on Goodreads
24 / 50
Goodreads

A Christmas Memory

- Rating: 4.24 (13,324 ratings)
- Author: Truman Capote
- Published: January 1, 1956
- Genres: Christmas, Short Stories, Classics, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
25 / 50
Goodreads

Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South

- Rating: 4.26 (144 ratings)
- Author: Dan T. Carter
- Published: January 1, 1971
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Race, African American
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: States where people in Alabama are getting new jobs

26 / 50
Goodreads

We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March

- Rating: 4.10 (1,596 ratings)
- Author: Cynthia Levinson
- Published: February 1, 2012
- Genres: Nonfiction, History, Middle Grade, Historical
- Read more on Goodreads
27 / 50
Goodreads

Gone Crazy in Alabama (Gaither Sisters, #3)

- Rating: 4.15 (3,937 ratings)
- Author: Rita Williams-Garcia
- Published: April 21, 2015
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Fiction, Family
- Read more on Goodreads
28 / 50
Goodreads

Open Season

- Rating: 4.01 (20,056 ratings)
- Author: Linda Howard
- Published: July 1, 2001
- Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Suspense
- Read more on Goodreads
29 / 50
Goodreads

Boy's Life

- Rating: 4.38 (30,541 ratings)
- Author: Robert McCammon
- Published: August 1, 1991
- Genres: Horror, Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads
30 / 50
Goodreads

Illuminating Gracie

- Rating: 4.01 (91 ratings)
- Author: Lisa C. Temple
- Published: June 8, 2013
- Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Supernatural
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Counties with the most super commuters in Alabama

31 / 50
Goodreads

Big Fish

- Rating: 3.68 (20,577 ratings)
- Author: Daniel Wallace
- Published: January 1, 1998
- Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Contemporary
- Read more on Goodreads
32 / 50
Goodreads

Midnight at the Blackbird Café

- Rating: 4.07 (29,208 ratings)
- Author: Heather Webber
- Published: July 16, 2019
- Genres: Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Romance
- Read more on Goodreads
33 / 50
Goodreads

Standing in the Rainbow (Elmwood Springs, #2)

- Rating: 4.05 (16,997 ratings)
- Author: Fannie Flagg
- Published: May 1, 2002
- Genres: Fiction, Humor, Chick Lit, Southern
- Read more on Goodreads
34 / 50
Goodreads

Gods in Alabama

- Rating: 3.86 (22,404 ratings)
- Author: Joshilyn Jackson
- Published: April 13, 2005
- Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Southern, Contemporary
- Read more on Goodreads
35 / 50
Goodreads

Wonderland

- Rating: 4.11 (1,162 ratings)
- Author: Barbara O'Connor
- Published: August 28, 2018
- Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Dogs, Childrens
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Countries Alabama exports the most goods to

36 / 50
Goodreads

In the Shadow of Alabama

- Rating: 4.04 (639 ratings)
- Author: Judy Reene Singer
- Published: May 30, 2017
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Southern, World War II
- Read more on Goodreads
37 / 50
Goodreads

Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife's Story

- Rating: 4.20 (230 ratings)
- Author: Onnie Lee Logan
- Published: January 1, 1989
- Genres: Nonfiction, Biography, Biography Memoir, Medical
- Read more on Goodreads
38 / 50
Goodreads

A Yellow Watermelon

- Rating: 4.16 (57 ratings)
- Author: Ted M. Dunagan
- Published: October 1, 2007
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Cultural
- Read more on Goodreads
39 / 50
Goodreads

The Well and the Mine

- Rating: 3.76 (3,549 ratings)
- Author: Gin Phillips
- Published: January 21, 2008
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical, Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads
40 / 50
Goodreads

The Wife Upstairs

- Rating: 3.76 (161,433 ratings)
- Author: Rachel Hawkins
- Published: January 5, 2021
- Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Counties with the most renters in Alabama

41 / 50
Goodreads

The Keepers of the House

- Rating: 4.00 (11,470 ratings)
- Author: Shirley Ann Grau
- Published: February 12, 1964
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Southern
- Read more on Goodreads
42 / 50
Goodreads

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"

- Rating: 4.01 (25,581 ratings)
- Author: Zora Neale Hurston
- Published: April 24, 2018
- Genres: Nonfiction, History, Biography, Race
- Read more on Goodreads
43 / 50
Goodreads

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

- Rating: 4.64 (46,628 ratings)
- Author: Anthony Ray Hinton
- Published: March 27, 2018
- Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography, Audiobook
- Read more on Goodreads
44 / 50
Goodreads

Almost Home

- Rating: 4.29 (1,580 ratings)
- Author: Valerie Fraser Luesse
- Published: March 5, 2019
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Christian Fiction, Christian
- Read more on Goodreads
45 / 50
Goodreads

Singing Hands

- Rating: 3.70 (150 ratings)
- Author: Delia Ray
- Published: January 1, 2006
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Historical, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Cities in Alabama with the most living in poverty

46 / 50
Goodreads

Alabama Moon (Alabama Moon, #1)

- Rating: 4.06 (4,668 ratings)
- Author: Watt Key
- Published: January 4, 2004
- Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, Survival, Realistic Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
47 / 50
Goodreads

Jericho Walls

- Rating: 3.97 (115 ratings)
- Author: Kristi Collier
- Published: April 1, 2002
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical, Young Adult, African American
- Read more on Goodreads
48 / 50
Goodreads

Send Me Down a Miracle

- Rating: 3.45 (405 ratings)
- Author: Han Nolan
- Published: April 1, 1996
- Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Religion
- Read more on Goodreads
49 / 50
Goodreads

The Store

- Rating: 3.70 (656 ratings)
- Author: T.S. Stribling
- Published: January 1, 1932
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Civil War, Classics
- Read more on Goodreads
50 / 50
Goodreads

The Hidden Summer

- Rating: 3.64 (506 ratings)
- Author: Gin Phillips
- Published: June 13, 2013
- Genres: Middle Grade, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
- Read more on Goodreads

You may also like: Most popular girl names in the 80s in Alabama

Trending Now